The Dome’s fortunes rise in repair plan for deflated structure
An Anchorage real-estate developer is helping to restore a popular local indoor sports complex which has been unusable since January, when the inflatable structure was collapsed under heavy snowfall.
Managers of The Dome announced Friday that John Rubini, chair of JL Properties, has arranged funding through local investors and the Municipality of Anchorage’s 49th State Angel Fund to bring the nearly 200,000-square-foot structure back into service.
The facility, off Dowling Road east of Minnesota Drive, has been unusable since it slowly collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow on Jan. 21. Its failure was quickly deemed repairable, but sent local sports groups scrambling to find replacement venues and left people with paid Dome memberships wondering when their fees would be reimbursed.
Alice Federenko, acting CEO for The Dome, apologized Friday for delays caused by working through issues associated with the new funding. She pointed out that under municipal code, The Dome’s deflation was considered a building collapse – necessitating structural reviews and other inspections before it could be repaired or reinflated.
“We are sorry it has taken so long but relieved the wait is over,” Federenko said in the statement.
At Friday’s press conference, Federenko said the roughly $6 million to $6.5 million repair project is being funded by a mix of investments and donations, including $1 million to $1.5 million donated by Rubini. Representatives from The Dome’s original builders will arrive in Anchorage Wednesday, and officials hope to reopen the facility by Nov. 1.
Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz also attended Friday's event to express his support.
"This is welcome news for the Anchorage community," Berkowitz said in the statement. "The Dome is a critical venue for youth clubs and high-school athletes."
Davis Constructors has been retained as the repair project’s general contractor, and managers at The Dome are looking to hire a full-time CEO as well as other staff.
Federenko said Friday that a laser system would be installed to monitor the roof for any future issues from snow load. She also promised that The Dome membership holders will be made whole, and that new memberships would soon be available.
Lauren Maxwell contributed information to this story.